Couldn't believe it the other day, I was sat in Starbucks and noticed the staff had resorted to filling little cups of coffee and going out on the street giving them away. Now, coffee shops are well known for making good money on drinks, so to see them giving it away was a sure sign that even they are testing good old traditional methods of brand awareness by giving samples to passers by. It must be working, their share price is up.

After refuelling myself, I then needed to refuel the car, selecting a Shell garage for the cheapest petrol price around. I was given a scratch card at the point of purchase which revealed I had won a prize. Wow what could it be, free petrol or maybe even cash... no, the prize was the chance to buy a packet of Mars bars for £1.40. What a way to upsell, catch you at the point of purchase with a discount hidden within a scratch card promotion... not impressed.

If the big boys are testing different ways of doing things, then maybe you need to as well; doing what you always did may not get what you always got, not in these times. Go back to some simple old methods and test it, test it and test it more. After all, the only thing that really matters with your marketing is whether or not it boosts your profile or sales.